From delightful San Salvador we set off along the western bights of Cat and Eleuthera, to eventually reach Nassau before 7 March. Our reservations for Atlantis take up on that day and Bill and Melissa arrive from Arlington the next day. We plan to anchor out until then and the only complications involve the full moon and the residual weather patterns that have caused recent damage in Alabama. On the former, we are traveling on a full moon and this is when the tide range moves to it's greatest amplitude. The bights of Cat and Eleuthera are uniformly shallow, so Jean will be spending a lot of time on the bow looking for coral heads. The chart books that we use have lots of spaces that are simply not charted in these areas.
On 2 March we crossed to Cat Island, passing just north of the uninhabited Conception Island and rounding Hawks Nest Point where we had stayed last year. Fishing wasn't very good unless you count barracudas, so the 72 Nm leg passed slowly. That afternoon we headed into Hernandez Bay where the contour would offer some protection as the winds clocked around to the north. It was a beautiful anchorage with a lazy roll. We were welcomed to the bay by six small spotted dolphins. We had never encountered this type before and they were operating in about 8-10 feet of water. Just ashore was a very nice resort that seemed to bustle with guests and water toys. The adjacent airfield was busy with small commuter flights. That night we dug into the freezer for one of Jean's dream dinners. This can be explained.
Both before leaving Virginia and while in Sarasota, she had taken advantage of a new age phenomena that suits our boating lifestyle quite well. In this case, our freezer is stocked with ready-to-cook meals that she has assembled herself. Ingredients and recipes are laid out and the portion is up to you. She usually divides the serving for six in half and freezes these smaller portions individually. The price is right, variety is great and preparation is easy; each comes with a vegetable, starch and some meat/cheese/fish combination. Well, we are starting to seriously dent our stockpile and it is time for Bill to start harvesting more conch/lobster and catching fish. ...grouper season opens in the Bahamas 1 March.
From Fernandez we passed from Cat to Eleuthera by way of Little San Salvador. The tour boats are still abundant in this wonderful cruising ground. Coming along the boot of Eleuthera we passed Bannerman's where the Caribbean Princess was disgorging her passengers for a day on the beach, complete with cabanas, skidoos and helo rides. Just another case of the hurried masses seeking a moment of remoteness...and a pina colada. Threading our way past the shallows of Eleuthera Point, we made a course for Rock Sound to the east. In this pretty bay we came on several cruisers at anchor and settled in for a peaceful night. But, during a round of gin rummy, we watched as the moon over Rock Sound went thru an early evening lunar eclipse. This was really spectacular, due in part to the low light of the bay. Not to be outdone by the moon, a local bar on the beach cranked up the sounds and held forth at high volume until 0300 on Sunday morning. Now, we know why this place is called ROCK SOUND.
The next morning we expected a blow as a couple of fronts descended on the sound. It still gave us time to get ashore for church. We had a choice; Catholic, Anglican and Methodist, each was filling for the 1100 service. The Methodists won and the air conditioning that they offered had little to do with the decision. It was a delightful service and we must have been blessed, because the fronts began to dissipate. After church, we walked one mile east of the town to the "ocean hole". A landlocked tidal lake that our book says is bottomless. Fish come from the sea by way of subterranean tunnels. We wish we had pictures of Rock Sound but our camera is broken with a loner arriving via Bill and Melissa. Tomorrow we will inch up the coast to Governor's Harbour and be ready to cross to Nassau in good weather.